Approximately half of displaced Colombian women are victims of battery at the hands of their partners, a new study showed.
The 2011 study, carried out by the nonprofit organization Profamilia and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development, demonstrated the high vulnerability of displaced females across the country to abuse and health problems.
According to El Tiempo, while over 50% of displaced Colombian women face physical violence at home, 43.5% suffer from psychological abuse. To give some perspective to the problem, the national average for all Colombian women. is 32%.
Approximately 13% have been raped by their own spouses, while the national rate is estimated at 10%.
Seven in 10 abused displaced women said that they believe their husband or partner has control over them.
The study also showed that teenage pregnancy is on the rise amongst the displaced population. Profamila estimated that 35% of displaced females between the ages of 15 and 19 are or have been pregnant. The national average in 2010 was 15% lower, according to the National Survey of Demographics and Health.
Nearly a third of pregnant displaced women between the ages of 13 and 49 said they did not want to be pregnant.
While contraception use, prevention against sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer diagnoses have increased in the past decade, only 9% of Colombian women report regularly using a condom during sexual intercourse. That rate is nearly halved, at 4.8%, for displaced women.
Approximately one out of five displaced women said that they have never used any method of birth control.
Profamilia names education as a major factor affecting pregnancy and abuse rates. According to the organization, displaced women have received an average of six years of school, four years less than the national average.
The study, Profamilia’s third, was conducted throughout 25 Colombian departments.